Family-owned Heitz Cellar in Napa Valley, California has been a benchmark in the Napa Valley for premium wine, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon. Its famous Martha’s Vineyard bottlings are among the most sought after wines, consistently ranking high with critics and enthusiasts alike. In fact, Wine Spectator named the Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon as one of the top 12 wines of the 20th century.
Award-Winning California Winery Sold to Arkansas Billionaire
The winery was founded by Joe and Alice Heitz in 1961 and until recently, their children, winemaker David Heitz and president Kathleen Heitz Myers, were at the helm. The winery and 400 acres of vineyards have been sold to Gaylon Lawrence Jr. who, according to The Drinks Business, is an Arkansas billionaire who has been looking to get into the Napa Valley wine industry for some time. No doubt the legendary Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon bottlings were part of the lure in purchasing the California icon.
Major Changes to the Structure at Heitz Cellar See the Winemaker and President Gone!
According to Wine Spectator there will be two major changes in the company structure: Kathleen will be replaced as president by Robert Boyd, formerly of Kendall-Jackson and Joseph Phelps Vineyards and David will be stepping aside as winemaker. The rest of the winemaking team will remain the same and there are no plans to make any changes to the style of winemaking.
How Much Did This Iconic Winery Sell For?
It is rumoured that the company sold for nearly $200 million, although there is nothing concrete at this point to substantiate that claim. The Heitz family is hopeful and trusts that their legacy is in good hands.
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